Lake Baikal cycle update: Solo and Circumnavigation debrief

Posted: May 05, 2010 06:27 am EDT

Juan MenĂŠndez Granados from Spain completed his solo cycle in 19 days and sent through a debrief press release.

The multi-national cycling team, Christopher Pike (USA), Maikey Lopera (USA), Federico Pisani (Venezuela), Marcus Tobias (Venezuela) and Eric Noll (USA) updated their blog with reports about the second half of their expedition.

Christopher Pike, Maikey Lopera, Federico Pisani, Marcus Tobias and Eric Noll

The guys who started their circumnavigation in Irkutsk and finished in Lisbyanka have posted reports about the second half of their expedition in their blog. They have included several video clips in the blog. On their website they posted many photographs.

See blog and website links at the bottom.

Juan MenĂŠndez Granados

The Spaniard completed his solo cycle crossing of Lake Baikal at Severobaikalsk. He said in a press release it took him 19 days to cross the lake with his bike and cart with all his provisions.

For Menendez Granados, the expedition has been a success because not only have I achieved my goal of crossing the lake, but I did it self-sufficiently. Im so pleased to have managed it; there were times when I really doubted that it was possible to do in such extreme conditions. The Asturian sportsman has compared this triumph with his achievement in 2009 when he crossed Australia via its main deserts in a 5000-kilometre journey; the hardest ever cycle route, said his press release.

Menendez Granados has explained that conditions on Baikal were really hard from the word go. The Asturian sportsman recalls that the lakes welcome was really awful; as if the lake wanted to give me prior warning about what lay ahead. The frozen surface was covered with a thick layer of snow which made cycling impossible. It snowed the day I started out, and when I got to a snow-free zone, it snowed again.

After this first obstacle, which obliged Mr. Menendez Granados to drag the 80 kilos of bike, kit and provisions over long stretches, the extreme sportsman had to weather a huge Siberian storm with winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour. The immense ice plane of Baikal then became his worst enemy, offering nowhere to shelter from the gale-force winds. The solution was to build a small wall out of blocks of ice. Even so, the storm broke one of the tent poles; a breakage which, luckily, could be repaired allowing me to continue my journey.

The wind, which broke my tent and put me in the hardest moment in the whole expedition, was also one of the most unrelenting problems along the route. The wind blew so hard at times that it was impossible to stay on the bike and I had some heavy falls. You have to understand that the bike and trailer combo together with my cold weather clothing caused a lot of wind resistance, with the added difficulty of being on two wheels. I had to put my feet on the ground on repeated occasions. And then there was the cold; minimum temperatures as low as -22Âş C and daily averages that didnt go over -10Âş C.

During the final stages of the journey, exhaustion and lack of food became the biggest difficulties. At first I had estimated that it would take 12-14 days to cross the lake, but in such harsh conditions, with so much snow covering the ice, it took 19 days. I was carrying enough food for 15 days and so I had to eke out my supplies carefully in order to achieve my goal of self-sufficiency.

Spaniard Juan MenĂŠndez Granados previous adventures as sent over in his press release:

With this latest expedition, Juan Menendez Granados has added a new chapter to his curriculum as an extreme sportsman. Between March and April 2008, he cycled the 2300 kilometres from Helsinki to North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe. In 2009 his Arctic adventure in Canada took him on an 1800 kilometer journey over ice roads where he had to cope with temperatures as low as -30ÂşC.

The Australia Infernal Track expedition, in which Juan crossed the Australian continent from west to east via its main deserts, also features in his sporting history. During the three-month expedition, he had to endure temperatures of over 45ÂşC and a severe lack of water.

Among his other expeditions, his crossings of the Ural Mountains, ending up in the Arctic Circle, and of South America via the Andes and the Amazon basin both stand out.

See also Juans website for more photos and info.

Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal Winter Cycle Circumnavigation blog
Lake Baikal Winter Cycle Circumnavigation website
Pacific Environment
Juan MenĂŠndez Granados website - Spain


courtesy Juan MenĂŠndez Granados, SOURCE

courtesy Juan MenĂŠndez Granados, SOURCE

courtesy Juan MenĂŠndez Granados, SOURCE

courtesy, SOURCE

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